Searching for fungal mycoherbicides effective against climbing asparagus (Asparagus scandens) in New Zealand

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Tang, Tianyi
Blanchon, Dan
Bell-Butler, P.
Waipara, N.
Fisher, L.
Cox, H.
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
climbing asparagus (Asparagus scandens)
invasive plants
fungal bioherbicides
biocontrol agents
Tang, T., Blanchon, D., Bell-Butler, P., Waipara, N., Fisher, L., & Cox, H. (2022, August, 9-11). Searching for fungal mycoherbicides effective against climbing asparagus (Asparagus scandens) in New Zealand [Poster presentation]. New Zealand Plant Protection Society Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand
Climbing asparagus (Asparagus scandens) is an invasive species in New Zealand and is known to cover forest floors, inhibiting the growth of native plants. Conventional chemical control strategies might threaten nearby native species due to their non-selective features, making the use of biological control methods attractive. In this study, we surveyed A. scandens across New Zealand for potential disease symptoms and isolated potentially pathogenic fungi. A large variety of fungal species were recovered from A. scandens specimens. All fungal isolates were identified by DNA sequencing, cultured in a laboratory, and inoculated onto A. scandens samples in vitro. Multiple fungal isolates were also tested in planta by inoculation. Alternaria sp., Pestalotiopsis sp., Fusarium acuminatum, Colletotrichum spp., Neofusicoccum parvum, Hendersonia culmiseda are among the most pathogenic strains in vitro; Neofusicoccum sp., and Colletotrichum sp. the two most pathogenic strains in planta. Treated plant samples expressed discolouration, black or brown spots and visible fungal hyphae as symptoms both in vitro and in planta. This study will continue to evaluate the pathogenicity of promising fungal isolates against A. scandens in planta at a larger scale and explore the potential of mycoherbicides in New Zealand in application.
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